Best Software as basis for community

sugo

Neophyte
Joined
Jan 6, 2017
Messages
7
I want to build a new community with a lot of custom coding (because we want features that you won't get normally out of the box).

But I don't want to reinvent the wheel. So, things for like user registration or private messages I want to use a CMS-like software as a basis.

My favorite community software is XenForo (even better with the coming version 2). But It lacks a few features a community has to have, like mutual friendships. I also know that in XenForo 1 it was very hard to implement mutual friendships as addon (especially regarding performance). XenForo is really great software, but more for specific usage cases.

I also looked at an other forum (and CMS/Community) software: Woltlab Suite: Compared to XenForo 2 the plugin creation process is very complicated. I did not look too deep into it, but seems to be o.k. I really like the modular approach.

I have also looked at SocialEngine. Does not look bad regarding features, but I could not find a good Development Documentation, and don't know how good the code is.

Many years ago I have used PhpFox (with custom development by the creators of the software). Back then the software was o.k., but not too consistent (regarding UX), and upgrading was very complicated after all the changes. But I think the project has been improved over the last (about) 7 years, while I did not use it.

I don't think Wordpress is a good idea to use for communities (tough there are many addons that claim to make a community out of Wordpress; just want to mention that).

What I want to have is (at least):
  • User Management
  • Mutual Friendships
  • Private Messages / Conversations
  • Good Performance
  • MVC Approach / Modern programming techniques
  • Good Documentation (also for developers)
Price is o.k. up to 4 digits (for a really really good software).
 

Digital Doctor

Tazmanian
Joined
May 16, 2012
Messages
4,693
I really don think there is good community software.

If you tell me more about your community I might be able to help.

I recently demo'd igloo software. Has its perks.
 

sugo

Neophyte
Joined
Jan 6, 2017
Messages
7
Xenforo is only a forum.
It is definitely not community software.
well, at least XF has a lot of features a community needs: Conversations, Alerts, Mentions, the whole user-management, "Trophy Points", Warnings, Moderation features, ... And it can easily be extended.

But of course, it is not the perfect way to go when you want to build a community and don't care too much for the forum part.

What I search for is a software with similar code quality and more focus on community features.
 

Digital Doctor

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May 16, 2012
Messages
4,693
well, at least XF has a lot of features a community needs: Conversations, Alerts, Mentions, the whole user-management, "Trophy Points", Warnings, Moderation features, ... And it can easily be extended.

But of course, it is not the perfect way to go when you want to build a community and don't care too much for the forum part.

What I search for is a software with similar code quality and more focus on community features.
Me too.

Doesn't exist.

What software have you looked at ?
 

Bikenut

Enthusiast
Joined
Aug 31, 2014
Messages
124
Man, I'm playing around on SocialEngine and I think its freaking amazing. Im really liking it and only downside I see is that there doesn't seem to be many themes available for it.
 

sugo

Neophyte
Joined
Jan 6, 2017
Messages
7
Over the last hours I looked at Laravel CMS Scripts / Packages. There seem to be a lot of them.

this one looks pretty good: https://codecanyon.net/item/socialite-laravel-social-network-script/17553328

Here some other free ones: https://github.com/chiraggude/awesome-laravel#content-management-systems

I have not installed any of them. Maybe I'll try the payed one.

Good thing about Laravel: I have already played with the framework. :)

What I need is a Package with the mentioned features, that can be installed along with other laravel packages..
 

haqzore

Devotee
Joined
Dec 6, 2012
Messages
2,429
Invision Power is getting closer and closer. Especially with their activity views and recent introduction of groups.
 

Sal Collaziano

Womanizer
Joined
Jan 1, 2004
Messages
880
Well, you could always give WordPress with BuddyPress (plugin) a try. I have that setup running here:
https://cadillacmagazine.com/

It's nothing serious, I don't spend really any time on it. It's just an installation I pretty much use so that if and when I want to create a quick social network type site, I can just pretty much copy and paste that one onto another domain, clear the data and be up and running in 20 minutes. I think it's pretty robust...
 

sugo

Neophyte
Joined
Jan 6, 2017
Messages
7
Good Posting, ChrisTERiS ! I agree with many things, but not with this:
A script coded in PHP may needs 10 years and more to need changes.
A complex webapp needs updates more often; It does not matter if it is based on a CMS or made using a webframework (at least I would not code without a framework like laravel). Laravel 5.5 (LTS!) will get security fixes for just 3 years. If you don't use any boilerplate you may also have to deal with updated APIs, new PHP versions or just modern requirements (like responsive design a few years ago).

At the moment I consider building my own Boilerplate with laravel and a few packages for user management, conversations, admin area and other things from github.
 

Digital Doctor

Tazmanian
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May 16, 2012
Messages
4,693
I want to build a new community with a lot of custom coding (because we want features that you won't get normally out of the box).
Are you going to do the coding ? or hire someone ?

phpfox. :D heh. I remember that. At the time I thought it was going to bring something major to the table but it never really did. I was interested though. Most software is not interesting to me.
 

sugo

Neophyte
Joined
Jan 6, 2017
Messages
7
Regarding Coding: When you want to have the perfect solution, you have to do it by your own (or work very very close with a coder). At least you should be involved in the coding, and have an understanding of what has to be done - that's my experience. I prefer spending some days or even weeks learning a new technique, over hiring a coder and don't know what's happening behind the scene.

Once I hired a coder for a local guide based on symphony (PHP Framework). It costed much more that 10.000 EUR and was far away form "perfect". I spent a lot of time testing all things out, found really many bugs and many things were done different that I wanted to have them. After some time I decided to let the site "die" (it was not a community, no user registration).

I don't want to say "you must do it all by yourself". But you should do as much as you can by yourself: You may learn new things and you get what you want. If something is beyond your scope, you have to decide: learn it or let that part be coded.

Regarding Costs: I don't make hobby sites and I want them to grow and not be terminated after a few years. So a few (or even 1) really good site(s) (with higher costs) are better than 20+ Wordpress Sites (made of a WP Theme and a few Plugins) - in my opinion.
 

Bikenut

Enthusiast
Joined
Aug 31, 2014
Messages
124
Well, you could always give WordPress with BuddyPress (plugin) a try. I have that setup running here:
https://cadillacmagazine.com/

It's nothing serious, I don't spend really any time on it. It's just an installation I pretty much use so that if and when I want to create a quick social network type site, I can just pretty much copy and paste that one onto another domain, clear the data and be up and running in 20 minutes. I think it's pretty robust...

No offense, but it took like a whole minute for that site to even load.
 

Sal Collaziano

Womanizer
Joined
Jan 1, 2004
Messages
880
Does anyone else have this experience? A full minute to load the front page? It takes 3 seconds for me and I'm on a weak wifi service at the moment...
 
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